What Did I Do Today? 2021

Letter to myself, June 29, 2021 

What did I do today? Well, let’s see.

Today is almost over.

Took Teah for her walk, along the cliff.

Down below where cars are parked

the patch of grass is brown.

A haze of yellow stars belies

the arid field, where

barbed rye grass lurks in wait.

At one end Salto del Livio,

a short dirt road, leads off

around the bluff.

Was this where someone named Livio

jumped off the cliff?

Teah still hopes Frank and Candace

will come down those stairs

at the other end

to take her for a run.

Back at the lift we continue to the square,

dodging an occasional car

or rather they dodge us.

Next stop Blue Bar and coffee

with Bob Hannah, sketching from his phone

for another water color.

Once home, not yet too hot,

I decide the sprawling withered malva

should go. Self-seeded,

I thank it for its blossoms

as I snip and tear away, 

steering clear of the nettles

hoping the pappataci,


don’t realize I’m there.


catch up on sleep,

make bed,

grate zucchini,

can’t get my son

to pick them small.

Lunch, eggplant dip, tomato,

Angela Lansbury keeps me company

on TV as the Lady in Yellow,

Italian version of  Murder She Wrote.

Missing words here and there

are irrelevant for

I know the plot by heart.

Check up on distant friends.

Computer friends, real friends

across the valley,

with its patchwork

of brown fields knit together

by rows of dark green trees,

vines and olive groves.

If it’s market day

they may stop by my door

to say hello to Teah, and to me.

She soon lets me know it’s time for supper.

I figure it’s time for another walk.

This seems to be the best

I can do today.

Scavenging in the past,

I find a poem written years ago

now asking for an edit.

It’s in a sense a tug of war

with the mastery of words

declining with each additional year.

My attempted rewrite

isn’t all that great.


I have tried.


that is what I did today.

Let then the past remain the past

and look forward to a future.

3 thoughts on “What Did I Do Today? 2021

  1. This is another “winner,” and the oral version adds so much. Ditto for the photograph—yet another medium at which you excel. I have a photo of Teah looking longingly at those parking lot stairs in hopes that her best buddies, Frank and Candace, might appear.

    I especially like the divisions which allow the reader to focus on the special moments you highlight.

    And the multiple ways you use the word, “Still.”

    For a wordsmith, does “mastery of words” ever NOT involve a “ tug-of-war“?

    In any case, according to this reader, your powers are still formidable.

    Envoyé de mon Di-Phone


  2. Erika Every day becomes precious doesn’t it? I finished my self infusion yesterday and I am still pregnant with a belly of immunoglobulin. I installed a portable air conditioner. Linda backed up too far into the neighbor’s garage door. They will be ah dismayed when they come back from vacation. Some clean up still after our MFA dinner on the deck. New plants and a hedge to trim for our gardener… a Cambodian man named Manh Song…although I think I have his name wrong. My nap is over. Lauren’s 11 year old dog Rosco is asleep draped over a chair. Lauren is in Hawaii on a vacation. Gina is at work at the Jewish Summit House. A right wing terrorist on the FBI wanted list tried to get into to her Jewish retirement home—and fled un captured. Brett and family have had it with their crazy and malevolent neighbors on the farm—I think I shared some of the goings on there—and so Brett and family are going to move back into the Novoli house! Weekends perhaps on the farm. Here? All nothing’s to write home about…nothing as eloquent as your ‘What did I do today.’

    I found an email from my visit with you in 2011 which was exactly an “What did I do today.’ I will dig it up and send it to you. How precious those days were!

    Thinking of you! ❤️ J

    Sent from my iPhone



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